Whitefish is forcing itself back into the donut.
Despite having reneged on its 2010 settlement agreement and ultimately losing its lawsuit against Flathead County, Whitefish is hosting Whitefish public meetings, staffed by Whitefish employees, to hear statements by Whitefish residents about – get this –what Flathead County residents can do with their donut properties along the South 93 corridor.
Whitefish city “communitarian” councilors repeatedly have said that donut property owners should sacrifice millions of dollars in property value so the Whitefish citizenry can preserve their own views and property values. So we should not be surprised these rulers are criticizing Flathead County’s process for rezoning along the South 93 corridor because it lacks enough Whitefish input.
Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld said, “We would like to sit down to come up with a solution that meets our needs, the county needs and the landowners needs.”
OK, Mr. Mayor, why don’t you send Flathead County your proposal? Why don’t you devote staff time and cash to create a plan that would meet all of those requirements? Because it looks like you want to keep the burden on everyone but Whitefish to “meet in the middle.”
During the years of the donut dispute, Mayor Muhlfeld frequently said we should get together to “work out” a resolution. In all that time, he never proposed anything. It was all talk and posturing.
Donut residents are always willing to listen to sound, constructive input about how best to increase their property values, plan for the future and make our valley better. But Whitefish City leaders no longer can summon county residents to Whitefish to be subjected to ad nauseam demands from the City of Whitefish and its residents.
If the City of Whitefish and its residents want to express their opinion about plans for neighboring lands, they can attend Flathead County Planning Board meetings and give input. Let’s not forget that Whitefish never held hearings about the donut in the donut. They made donut residents come to Whitefish more than a dozen times while negotiating 2010 settlement agreement. Well, Whitefish now can go to the County.
We must stay vigilant to make sure that Whitefish follows the rules of governance. For that, they must come to Flathead County.